Redrawing Energy Geopolitics: Poland Supports ‘Northern Gate’ Pipeline

Written by | Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Poland yesterday (18 October) supported the “Northern Gate” gas pipeline project, also known as “Norwegian corridor”, which is designed to bring gas from Norway through Denmark to Poland. Piotr Naimski, the Polish government’s Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure, said during a hearing at the European Parliament that his country was looking into replacing supplies from Russia with supplies from the West.

Mr Naimski also said that Russian gas in Poland is paradoxically more costly that in Western European countries, which are more distant from Russia. He further said that Poland was interested in securing supplies at the lowest possible price. Warsaw sees “Northern Gate” as a competitor to Nord Stream 2, which also aims at offering oil at market price in Central Europe. The project currently aims to transfer about 10 million cubic meters of natural gas from Norway to Poland annually by 2022. Poland would not keep the entire amount but rather it would further send the gas to other Central European countries, such as Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary and the Baltic States or even Ukraine.

The first draft of the project was proposed in 2009 and in 2013, the Commission gave one of the parts of the project the status of “project of common interest”. In 2015, the Connecting Europe Facility provided a grant for a feasibility study. Maros Sefcovic, Vice-President of the European Commission for the Energy Union, said following the hearing that the “initial thought” of the EU executive was that “Northern Gate” was a very important project. The feasibility study will be ready by the end of this year and the project will be open for commercial entities to express their interest by the end of 2017.

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